Kroger employees to receive ‘Thank You Pay’ after ‘Hero Bonuses’ come to an end

Kroger employees to receive ‘Thank You Pay’ after ‘Hero Bonuses’ come to an end
Kroger announced it will provide special "Thank You Pay" to hourly frontline, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates. (Source: Kroger)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Kroger employees will be getting a one-time bonus “Thank You Pay" in recognition of their work during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the company.

Hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy, and call center associates will be eligible.

“Our associates have been instrumental in feeding America while also helping to flatten the curve during the initial phases of the pandemic. To recognize and thank our associates for their incredible work during this historic time, we offered special pay in March, April, and May,” Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen, said.

A news release from Kroger says the new $130 million “Thank You Pay” bookends an “Appreciation Pay” that frontline workers received at the start of the pandemic in March.

It also follows “Hero Bonuses” that were paid in April through mid-May, with a final payment by May 23.

The one-time “Thank You Pay”, which will be $400 for qualified full-time associates and $200 for qualified part-time associates, will be paid out in two installments on May 30 and June 18.

The announcement follows the objection of its union to the ending of hero pay because the hazards employees faced due to COVID-19 have not subsided, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The United Food and Commercial Workers, the union for Kroger workers, released the following statement Friday evening:

“We are extremely disappointed by Kroger’s decision to end Hero Pay and we know that our members are disappointed as well. At the beginning of this crisis, Kroger first called these workers ‘heroes’ and now they have decided that they’ve stopped being heroes.

”The simple fact is that the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Social distancing continues. Kroger workers are still required to wear masks. There is no vaccine.

“This decision is even more inexplicable given that sales are up and profits are up. The reality is that Krogeris choosing to ignore this pandemic. This is not how we treat heroes in America.”

Kroger also announced that it will continue its COVID-19 Emergency Leave guidelines to provide paid time off to employees most directly affected by the virus or experiencing related symptoms.

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